Sunday, January 27, 2019

General Update

I have been doing Ideal Protein since June 24, 2017.  My goal weight was 150 pounds or to be in a size 12 pants.  Two weeks ago,  I was able to buy 2 pairs of size 12 jeans.  They are actually a little bit big in the waist but I need the extra room in my hips and lower abdomen.  My weight was 158 though.  I thought about continuing with phase 1, but I was really sick of the Ideal Protein foods and I really wanted to expand my variety of foods.  I was planning on continuing a paleo/keto way of eating though. 
     On 1/14/19, I began phase 2 of the Ideal Protein plan.  The biggest difference between phase 1 and phase 2 is you go from eating 3 IP foods to 2 and you go from eating 8 oz lean protein to eating 16 oz lean protein.  I am having a hard time eating that much protein.  My protein still has to consist of meat and eggs.  No dairy products yet for protein.  I am trying to add little bits here and there to increase my protein amounts each day.  It doesn't help that I had to start antibiotics on Thursday for a UTI that cause me to have a bit of nausea.  In the past, we tried to avoid this particular antibiotic, but since I am allergic to most of the major antibiotic types, this is one of the few left to treat my UTI's, so I just do the best I can. 
     I am still losing a little bit of weight, but slower than on phase 1.  I will go to phase 3 on Thursday.  I get to add in dairy products and some fruit.  I am going to stick with berries and small oranges for now.  I will continue with 2 IP foods per day for 2 more weeks then I can go off them completely if I wish or eat them as I want to.  I will probably continue using the pancake mix since it is a nice low carb alternative.
     The other excitement in our life is that we are having to get a new van.  Last week, the ramp on my van broke AGAIN!!  I took it into the shop to be repaired and found out it was going to be very expensive to fix and they said there were other parts that would probably break down shortly after that.  The kneel already needed to be replaced, which puts extra strain on the ramp and that is expensive too.  I have some minor engine problems but pretty normal stuff for a 12 year old van with 120,000+ miles on it; oil leak, power steering leak, poor gas mileage.  My van doesn't like the cold.  It makes a lot of extra noise when it is cold and the van door works very slowly in the cold.  NOT a good thing when you have to sit and wait for the ramp to come out to get in the van.  We decided it wasn't worth it to fix the ramp and decided to replace the van.  They had a 2016 with less than 5000 miles on it that was 15,000 less than it would be brand new.  It is a Chrysler Town and Country.  I had really thought I would get a Honda when I replaced it, but they are so much more expensive and there weren't any available, especially in our price range.  This one is a top of the line with leather interior, power everything,  and lots of cool gadgets.  It is a tan color with a pearl finish so it will hide the dirt well since we have new subdivisions being built on either side of us so there is mud on the road all the time.  My white van is always dirty.  They had to order a transfer seat and a part to attach my hand controls since the one for the Dodge isn't compatible with the Chrysler.  They are going to install all of that on Friday and I get to take possession of it then.  I am very excited about getting a reliable van, plus having the added luxuries this one has, such as the automatic tailgate, the backup camera that isn't backwards, and a radio that will actually connect with my media player in my phone (my current radio will only connect to my phone but not the media player.  I have to manually connect the media player every time I get in the car, unless there are 2 phones in the car then it will connect the other persons, not mine-go figure).
     Lastly, I have an appointment with a neurologist in Dallas at UT Southwestern on February 20th.  She is a specialist in MS and autoimmune neurology.  Please pray that she can figure out why I have had those 3 episodes of ascending paralysis and that I don't have another one before I can go see her.  Also, pray that she believes there is a physical cause and doesn't blame it on psychological causes.  That happened to me early in my neurological history and I get nervous when doctors can't figure out a cause that they will start pulling out the psychological card just because they don't understand what is going on.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Sticks and Stones, Part 2

Six months after I graduated from nursing school, I got engaged to be married.  I got married 4 months later. During the 1st year of marriage, I gained about 10 pounds, but I was still pleased with how I looked and felt.  There is just something about being happily married that makes you a little complacent with your diet. The year after that, I was pregnant with my 1st child.  I gained 38 pounds with my pregnancy. I did the Weight Watchers plan when my daughter was 6 months old and lost the last 15 pounds I had left in just few months.

Now I know that all of this seems like minor weight issues of a young adult women.  Little did I know it was about to get much worse. I have had asthma since I was 11 years old.  When I was 25 years old, I had a severe asthma attack and had to go on steroids. It took 3 years for me to get off of them.  I had to be hospitalized for my asthma during that time and we struggled with multiple medications and doctors visits to keep my asthma under control.  I couldn’t breathe very well so I couldn’t exercise very much, especially if the weather was cold, wet or the pollen counts were high. My weight exploded no matter what I did.  I was so hungry all the time. I never felt like I was full. My weight went up to 220 pounds. It was the heaviest I had ever been. My face was really puffy. I had a “moon face” from the steroids.  My weight stayed up there for a few years. I tried several diets during this time. Susan Powter was really popular so I did her diet. She was the queen of the low fat fad. She believed that you could lose weight if you kept your intake of fat really low, like 10%.  She also was a huge advocate of eating things that weren’t processed. She said before you ate something, you should ask “Did it grow that way?”. I started eating more produce as a result of that question. However, just because something is low fat, doesn’t make it healthy.  Many low fat items are loaded with sugar. I recall may mornings I would have a “whole wheat” bagel and fat free cream cheese for breakfast, or steel cut oats with honey and cut fruit. Both of those were considered healthy choices but are both loaded with sugar and carbs. I never looked at the sugar, carbs or really even the  total calories of the things I ate. I calculated the percentage of fat and that is how I decided if it was ok for me to eat. I did lose some weight on this plan, but found it was not maintainable nor was it consistent. The low fat foods frequently lacked taste so there was no incentive to make them a part of your daily life, with the exception of fruits and vegetables.  Low fat crackers, breads, etc taste like cardboard. I wanted to enjoy the things I ate.

To complicate matters even more, I had a second child during this time too.  During my pregnancy, I had to spend 6 weeks on bedrest for preterm labor. Thankfully I only gained 13 pounds during my 2nd pregnancy and left the hospital a few pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight.  Some doctors will tell you that breastfeeding is a good way to lose weight since it burns additional calories to produce breastmilk. I can tell you that that is a lie. I have breastfed all 3 of my children and I cannot lose weight while I am breastfeeding. Then, it was much harder to get to the gym and  make healthy meals with 2 young children at home. My 2nd child was a demanding baby. He had colic as an infant, then developed severe separation anxiety when he got a little older. I couldn’t leave him with anyone, sometimes not even with my husband, or he would just scream until I got back. Weight loss was not my major focus.  I wasn’t gaining weight at this point though. I was maintaining my weight, so I can’t beat myself up too much.

To be continued...

Sticks and Stones, Part 1 (reposted)

The first time I posted this, it scrolled it across the screen and cut everything off and I didn't  notice it. I deleted that  post and I am reposting it now.  Sorry about that.

“Sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me”.  When I was growing up, that is what we were taught to tell a bully when they called us names that were intended to belittle us.  As a young adult in my mid 20, weighing over 200 pounds, I realized that the phrase should have been “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will hurt forever”.  
When my step dad came into my life, I was 10 years old and built like a toothpick.  Over the next few years, puberty entered my life and I got my curves like I was supposed to.  My step dad made fun of me for it. He called me “Fatty Patty” and would make rude comments about gaining weight.  I thought I was so overweight in high school. Looking back at photos, I wish I would have realized I was at a healthy weight. I have never been the supermodel thin girl that some of my friends were though.  All I needed to do was develop good eating and exercise habits to make sure I stayed that way. I did OK all through my junior year in high school until my senior year. I started working a part time job and would stop and get fast food  on my way home from work. My mom wasn’t the best cook and I never had time to eat at home. We also never ate fast food when I was growing up. My single mom could not afford it so it was a luxury for me. I started my senior year at 135 and ended it at 175.  This was the beginning of my weight problem, the beginning of my yo-yo dieting. This was going to be a long road of body hating and body shaming.

After high school, I went to nursing school.  Nursing school was one of the most stressful things I have ever done in my life, maybe up until this past year, but you will learn more about that later.  Almost everyone gains weight their 1st year of college. I didn’t have the added issue of moving away from home, living on dorm food and all of that. I lived at home all through college.  My second semester of college, I went on my first serious diet. I had to get a PE credit and I had always loved gymnastics, so I took a gymnastics glass for 1 credit. My weight was somewhere between 180-190 at this point at age 18.  I was out of shape too. This wonderful gymnastics instructor took a special interest in me and spoke to me after class one week into class about my weight. She offered to help me with a weight loss plan and I accepted. I started on the Scarsdale Medical Diet.  This diet was popular in the late 1970s and the 1980’s. It was very similar to the current low carb diets that are popular now. The diet gave you a specific meal plan to follow for a few weeks then you were supposed to eat a more regular diet for 2 weeks. It was more involved than that, but it was a long time ago so I don’t remember the details.   My weight fluctuated some during nursing school due to stress but by the time I graduated, I was down to 145. I was almost 21 years old. It was a big struggle and I fought some pretty big demons right after I graduated. When I was working night shifts at the hospital, it was really easy for old eating habits to creep back in. I started to get very obsessive about tracking calories and about what  I ate. My roommate commented once that she never saw me eat. I blew it off, figuring it was just because I worked nights so we were never awake at the same time. I realized though that she was right. I was hardly eating anything and I was taking a lot of vitamins and telling myself that would be enough. I got some counseling and stopped the behavior before I became anorexic. Looking back, that really scares me.  I have seen myself in both extremes - the overeating and the under eating. Neither one are pretty.

To be continued...

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

I forgot... add to the post below that I was weighed on Sunday and I have lost 8 pounds since being in the hospital.  That weight loss put my at my weight loss goal.  Now I am not counting on this being a 100% accurate weight, neither am I counting on it staying there.  I say that because my weight fluctuates a lot in the hospital and because they weighed me by weighing my in my wheelchair, then weighing my chair by itself.  They had  a hard time getting my chair to stay on the scale by itself so he was having to hold it there while trying to touch it as little as possible.  My chair weighs 400 pounds.  That is 100 pounds more than I thought it did.  That sucker is HEAVY!!  I was excited anyway.  I'm trying really hard not to blow it and screw up for the next week that I am here.  I'm ready to be on maintenance.  I figure this is good practice for how I need to eat the rest of my life so that is what I have been doing, trying to eat like I am in maintenance.

First week of Rehab

I haven't posted since I have been in rehab, so I figured I should give everyone an update, if anyone is reading this.  Day one of rehab is just evaluations.  I was hoping I would get my same physical therapist that I had my 1st 2 admissions, but I saw someone from a different floor for my evaluation.  She wasn't going to be my therapist and didn't  know who I would have.  My OT wasn't the same either.  I had a different one in March/April and in July.  I had worked a few times with the  one I got though and  I like her.  My PT, Kelsey, was my second choice if I couldn't get Victoria back.  I know, you probably don't care, but I might want to remember  this later.

Evaluations,Thursday November 29th- I can sit on the side of the bed now but I'm still  a little unsteady.  I can't move my legs but I can wiggle my toes just a tiny bit.  If you blink, you will miss it.  My arms are weak.  I can lift them up to my head but not all the way over my head.  I can transfer from the bed to the chair with the transfer board but it takes a lot of effort and  leaves me exhausted.  PT tried to get me to stand but she had to pull me up most of the way and hold me up the entire 10 seconds so I don't really think that counted much.  She said she could feel a little bit of muscle activation when I did that though, so the potential  is there.

Each day I have gotten a little bit stronger, gotten a little bit of movement back here and there.  I have been sore and tired.  I felt like I have been working out with heavy weights for hours on end rather than just 1# weights and trying to move my own legs.  On Monday, I started pool therapy.  In the pool, it is so much easier to move around and walk. The 1st day in the pool 2 days ago, I walked about 6 feet and I had to rest half way there.  Today, I did 2 laps of 6 feet in the pool before I had to rest.  Yesterday, I walked 8 feet on land with a walker.  My core strength is almost back to normal.  I can tell I still have a little bit of work to do because my abs and obliques are sore after therapy.  All of this therapy has really kicked up my muscle spasms.  At first, the spasms would help activate my muscle movement.  Now that I can get the muscles activated myself, the spasms just make my muscles more fatigued.  Tomorrow, my doctor is going to make adjustments to my baclofen pump to help those spasms.  It is a fine balancing act.  Too much baclofen and my legs get weak, not enough and I have muscle spasms.  For the most part, my dose is spot on and I only have to have it tweaked occasionally.  It was one of the best things I had done.

I am scheduled to go home on December 12th.  I am confident I will  be ready to go home.  I may not be walking very much, but enough that I can stand at the kitchen stove to cook and stand up to get the higher things I need in the kitchen, especially since I will be home alone during the day.  I am a little bit nervous about that part.  I have never been home alone when I first come home from the hospital.  I have always had someone at home to help me.  I am sure that  I will be fine.  I usually didn't  need the help but it was nice to know that Andrew was there if I needed him.

I'll be posting the next part of my weight loss journey soon.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Approved for rehab

I finally got approved for rehab yesterday.  So now that we have insurance on board, the rehab hospital didn't have any beds.  I was so frustrated.  When you are inpatient in the regular hospital, you get 30 minutes of PT every other day.  When I'm in the ICU, that is about all I can tolerate.  Now that I am on  the floor, I need so much more.  When I get to rehab, I'll get 3 hours a day, more if I go to the pool.  I need all of that if I am going to get back to walking.  They told me they should have a bed for me this morning.

I am doing better staying on my diet this time.  It is impossible to stay 100% on a ketogenic diet in the hospital.  I can't get the hospital to send me enough vegetables, and the proper vegetables to meet that requirement.  Plus, so much of their menu is centered about pasta and bread.  I'm trying not to have bread type products more than once a day.  I will be excited if I can maintain through this hospitalization.  When I get home, I am hoping that I have not gained any weight, then I can get back on track.  I had 8 pounds to lose when I entered the hospital last week and I am determined not to let this hospitalization set me back too far.  My goal was to start transitioning into maintenance after January 1st and I still want to do that if at all possible. Being so close to maintenance, this will actually give me a good chance to test the waters.  I'm much more ready for the challenge of that than I was during the summer.  I just stress ate a lot during my summer hospitalization and ended up gaining weight.  Of coarse the fact that I haven't gotten out of bed in 9 days doesn't help my weight at all.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Devotional from a prophet of God

Here is a little video clip about the devotional in San Antonio we attended.  I didn't know there was a Q&A with the prophet and some youth.  That would have been so cool to attend.  Jeremy would have asked him "Where is the sword of Laban?".  There was a Q&A with the stake president and  our youth a few months ago and that is what Jeremy asked the stake president.  He answered by quoting a scripture in the Book of Mormon that simply says "I know not".  I can't remember the reference but I will ask Jeremy later and come back and add it.